A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his masters house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”
“Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”
“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts.” The pot said.
The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”
Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the Pot apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We re all cracked pots. But if we will allow it, the Lord will use our flaws to grace His Fathers table. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don’t be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength
Charles Plum, a U.S. Naval Academy graduate, was a jet fighter pilot in Vietnam. After 75 combat missions, his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected and parachuted into enemy hands. He was captured and spent six years in a Communist prison. He survived that ordeal and now lectures about lessons learned from that experience.
One day, when Plumb and his wife were sitting in a restaurant, a man at another table came up and said, “You’re Plumb! You flew jet fighters in Vietnam from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. You were shot down!”
“How in the world did you know that?” asked Plumb.
“I packed your parachute,” the man replied. Plumb gasped in surprise and gratitude. The man pumped his hand and said, “I guess it worked!”
Plumb assured him, “It sure did – if your chute hadn’t worked, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Plumb couldn’t sleep that night, thinking about that man. Plumb says, “I kept wondering what he might have looked like in a Navy uniform – a Dixie cup hat, a bib in the back, and bell bottom trousers. I wondered how many times I might have passed him on the Kitty Hawk. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and not even said ‘Good morning, how are you,’ or anything because, you see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.”
Plumb thought of the many hours the sailor had spent on a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silks of each chute, holding in his hands each time the fate of someone he didn’t know.
Now, Plumb asks his audience, “Who’s packing your parachute? Everyone has someone who provides what they need to make it through the day.”
Application: pride. Don’t allow your pride to blindfold you to the people who provide the parachutes in your life, and the lives of others.
Application: encouragement, gratitude. Take time out to encourage and thank the people who provide the parachutes in your life.
Application: community, church, spiritual gifts. Charlie Plumb’s experience reminds us that every community needs every person playing their part if it is to function successfully. Some of those parts will be the glamorous roles, like the fighter pilot, while others will be behind the scenes, out of the way and apparently unimportant jobs like parachute packing. But all are vital.
In 1658 a young Italian boy named Antonio was apprenticed to the great violin maker Nicolas Amati. Legend has it, that like his townsfolk, Antonio loved music. Cremona was a town in which musical ability was highly valued. But poor Antonio was not a very accomplished musician. When he tried singing his friends nicknamed him “squeaky voice”. When he tried to learn the violin he was all thumbs. About the only thing Antonio could do was to whittle on a block of wood with his knife.
One day Antonio sat whittling by the roadside as three of his very musical friends were busking. The air filled with their beautiful playing and singing. One gentlemen stopped longer than any of the others and even asked the friends to sing a song again. After they finished he dropped a gold coin into the hand of the singer. Then he moved on down the street.
A gold coin was a princely sum for a street singer. “Who was he?” asked Antonio. “It was Amati,” his friends proudly replied. “Nicolo Amati, the greatest violin maker in all of Italy!”
That planted a thought in young Antonio’s mind. The next morning he went to Nicolo Amati’s house and waited for he great master to come out. When Amati opened the door, Antonio bounded up and told him that he wanted to become a violin maker. “I cannot sing and I cannot play, but I can carve.” Would Amati take him on as an apprentice?
Amati agreed and the eleven year old went to work for him. Years later Nicolo died and Antonio took over the business. Antonio’s full name? Antonio Straviari, the greatest violin maker of all time.
Antonio couldn’t sing, Antonio couldn’t play, but he could carve. That was his gift.
The Frillfin Goby is an ugly little fish, 10-15 centimeters long, that lives in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world. You find them in rock pools. See a goby and you’re not likely to give it much thought. It’s not pretty like so many tropical species, nor is it impressive in size, nor is it any good to eat. It’s just an ugly, nondescript little fish swimming in rock pools.
But it is a remarkable creature. When you’re a fish living in a rockpool the biggest danger is birds who see you as a fine meal. Not really many places to run and hide. The goby however has developed an incredible technique to escape. It can fling its 10 centimetre body into a nearby rockpool, and if necessary to another, then another, and on and on.
The reason this is incredible is that the goby is jumping blind. It cannot see the rock pool into which it will leap, yet manages to jump with amazing accuracy.
How does the goby do this? Scientists have discovered that at high tide the goby swims around the rocky areas and makes a mental map of the landscape, noting where the depressions that will form rock pools are. It can do this with just one pass of an area! Then, from memory, it is able to leap from rock pool to rock pool.
The goby has a pea size brain, yet is able to accomplish this stunning feat.
I don’t know about you but the Frillfin Goby fills me with joy and wonder. It’s another reminder of the remarkable world in which we live.
The Frillfin Goby also teaches us to look for the remarkable in others.
Source: information about the Goby from Braithwaite, Do Fish Feel Pain?